In perfect game 5 metaphor, Nats racing presidents trade leads in lengthy, confusing obstacle course

The Washington Post’s Tom Boswell called Thursday’s game an exhilarating, exhausting, donnybrook that “staggers even the baseball imagination.” The Nationals 9-8 deciding game 5 playoff loss to the Chicago Cubs was a marathon filled with improbable and confusing twists and turns that were hard to process for many in attendance.

So in retrospect, the evening’s fourth inning presidents race seems perversely appropriate.

George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5George Washington Nationals Racing President Playoffs NLDS Game 5 obstacle courseThe race that seemed to go on forever began all the way on the third base side of the field. Abe Lincoln took an early lead, but struggled when the presidents encountered the first challenge on this obstacle course — a “dizzy bat spinning” contest.

Thomas Jefferson emerged with the lead as they approached the next obstacle, but the dinosaur in left field did little to get in the way.

Next, a shuttle run set up in right field proved a challenge for Tom and Teddy, but our first commander in chief George Washington sailed through it to take his first lead heading to the final obstacle.

If the crowd on hand wasn’t confused yet, the folding table in front of the finish line likely did the job; but George leaped over it to take the tape as the other presidents gave up and left the field for the final time in 2017.

George took all three playoff races this season, with Teddy Roosevelt consistently bringing up the rear. Roosevelt finished the season 0-for-84, and like the Nationals and their fans, will have to wait until 2018 for a chance at redemption.

Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

George Washington leaves Nationals presidents race, returns on a bicycle

Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Race George Washington cheats bicycleWashington Nationals Racing Presidents Race on bicyclesAfter stealing the Nationals’ first 2017 postseason presidents race on Friday, George Washington wasn’t taking any chances for Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at Nationals Park.

Another extra-long race (thanks to the national broadcast) appeared to leave Washington winded as the racing presidents approached center field, but it turned out to be yet another ruse.

After letting the other presidents pass him, the father of our country ducked into the center field gate and emerged aboard a bicycle.

The founding father then sped past Abe, Teddy, and Tom to steal another postseason win.

Teddy Roosevelt, meanwhile, lost his 85th consecutive race.

Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

 

Teddy Roosevelt almost wins in the playoffs, but Nats grounds crew intervenes

The Washington Nationals hosted the first game of the National League Division Series vs. the Chicago Cubs Friday night at Nationals Park, and the nationally televised playoff game schedule helped the team toy with fans before once again preventing Teddy Roosevelt from winning his first presidents race of the season.

Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 1Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 3Washington Nationals NLDS presidents race Teddy Roosevelt 5The extra long commercial breaks allowed the racing presidents to start their fourth inning race from the third base side and run the entire length of the outfield, twice the length of the typical presidents race.

So the Nats unleashed Teddy Roosevelt, and the hero of San Juan Hill ran circles around his competition. Literally.

From the back of the pack, the Bull Moose caught up to and ran a circle around George Washington, then Thomas Jefferson, and finally around Abraham Lincoln before pulling away toward the finish line.

But as Teddy approached the home stretch, members of the Nationals grounds crew ran onto the field and tackled the 26th president, extending his losing streak to 84 games.

On the national broadcast, TBS color commentator Ron Darling had some curmudgeonly words for the grounds crew members.

“Those Nationals employees must be millennials and not know their history,” Darling said. “They would not have taken the real Teddy down, I’ll tell you that.”


Video for Let Teddy Win by lfahome

Racing president Teddy Roosevelt completes his seventh winless season

Teddy Roosevelt loss number 81There could not have been less drama in the 81st and final presidents race of the Washington Nationals’ 2017 regular season.

Wearing their Sunday best, Teddy Roosevelt faded fast while George Washington pulled away to secure second place behind Thomas Jefferson in the final season standings.

Sunday’s race capped the seventh completely winless regular season for the hero of San Juan hill.

While some are predicting a Roosevelt victory in the playoffs, others seem to be pleased that the team is putting the squeeze on the bull moose until they win a playoff series, and perhaps longer.

Bob Carpenter predicts a Teddy Roosevelt win in the playoffs

Bob Carpenter MASNMASN play-by-play man Bob Carpenter thinks the end of Teddy Roosevelt’s losing streak is near, but color commentator F.P. Santangelo is not on the same page.

“It’s only a guess on my part. I have no inside information,” Carpenter said on Thursday’s Washington Nationals game broadcast.

“I don’t know what game,” he continued. “I think some time in the postseason, Teddy’s going to win a race. I mean, I’m probably not even going out on a limb, there.”

“Oh, you are,” responded Santangelo. “I don’t think he’s winning. He’s too fat. Not in shape. Took the offseason lightly and that’s what happens. You don’t win.”

Roosevelt has lost 81 straight and counting.

Video: Racing presidents attacked by Oktoberfest pretzels as Jefferson locks up first title since 2006

Nats Racing Presidents Oktoberfest pretzelsNats Racing Presidents Oktoberfest pretzels 003Nats Racing Presidents Oktoberfest pretzels 004 Thomas Jefferson winsThe Washington Nationals Celebrated Oktoberfest Friday night at Nationals Park, and the racing presidents got into the act, sporting their rarely-seen giant lederhosen for the fourth inning presidents race.

The otherwise normal race was interrupted when Blonde Ale Blanche, a character dressed as one of the special beers the team was selling for Friday’s celebration, ran onto the field and pummeled the presidents with bavarian pretzels.

But a “Secret Service” member ran onto the field and corralled Blanche with an even bigger pretzel, paving the way for Thomas Jefferson to get by, beating the other presidents and thereby locking up the presidents race title for the 2017 season.

It was Jefferson’s first full-season Nationals presidents race title, having won the inaugural presidents race half-season in 2006.

Meanwhile, Teddy Roosevelt lost his 81st straight.

The Nats have clinched. Time to let Teddy win. For Jayson.

With ten home games remaining in the season, the 2017 presidents race crown remains up in the air, with George Washington and Abe Lincoln each within four victories of leader Thomas Jefferson in the standings. But one thing we know for sure:

Teddy Roosevelt doesn’t stand a chance.

Teddy Roosevelt Washington Nationals Presidents Race

Teddy Roosevelt is winded on an extra-long presidents race course, August 26

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle racing president Teddy Roosevelt

Teenage Mutant Ninja Teddy stops to gloat on 90s Night, August 13

Washington Nationals racing presidents vogue on Madonna's birthday

Racing presidents pause to Vogue on Madonna’s birthday, August 16

On Sunday, as Stephen Strasburg and the Nats were clinching their fourth NL East championship, Roosevelt quietly faded at the finish to lose his 73rd consecutive presidents race at Nationals Park.

We haven’t published full stories about every race this season, but we’ve continued to post summaries and videos after every race, and the narrative is worth revisiting. The Nationals revived their conspiracy against Theodore Roosevelt, and he is losing in spectacular and creative ways.

Teddy has been bowled over by Lincoln, battled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on 90s night, danced the Vogue on Maddona’s birthday, and been fooled by counterfeit currency on National Dollar Day.

He’s been distracted by the 2018 All Star Game logo, by fans in the stands, by Nats 50/50 raffle tickets, and by a book about Mount Rushmore on National Book Lovers Day.

And that’s just since the All Star break.

But now that the Nats have clinched, some fans are saying on social media that that’s enough. Harkening back to the 2012 season, when the Nationals won their first division, they say the Nats will now let Teddy win.

For others, letting Teddy win is a bad memory. They’ve reversed the curse concept, as they did in 2014 and again in 2016, saying that the Nats won’t win a playoff series if they let Roosevelt win.

To those fans, I point to Barry Svrluga’s column in Sunday’s Post, in which he chronicles Jayson Werth’s decision to sign with baseball’s losing-est franchise in 2010, and the team’s rise to elite status during the course of Werth’s seven-year contract.

Soon after joining the team, Werth become the most prominent member of the Let Teddy Win movement, lobbying and scheming to get the team to allow Teddy to win. “To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes,” he said on ESPN in 2012. “It needs to be addressed. It needs to be answered.”

Entering the final year of his contract with the winningest record in baseball over the previous six seasons, Werth proclaimed “We did it” when I saw him in 2016.

Now Werth, who teammates call the heart of the franchise, faces what is likely his last opportunity to win a championship with the Nationals. Why on this occasion would the Nats decide to rub it in his face and turn Teddy into a loser again?

Dear Nationals. Let Teddy Win!

The presidents stop to admire the 2018 All Star Game logo:

Teddy stops to wave at former Nat Pack members in the crowd:

Abe pummels Teddy, then is attacked by a shark:

Washington fools the presidents with fake currency on National Dollar Day:

Teddy is distracted by a Mount Rushmore book on National Book Lover’s Day:

Abe distracts Teddy with Dream Foundation raffle tickets:

On 90s night, Teenage Mutant Ninja Teddy pauses to gloat:

Presidents dance The Vogue on Madonna’s birthday:

On extra-long extended course, Teddy gets winded:

Grounds crew enters field to tackle the presidents:

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